WHO ARE WE?
Today’s blog was prompted by a video that went viral on Social Media. The video portrayed a man in a wheelchair abusing a young Puerto man and I believe his mother, for speaking in Spanish, in a public place. I don’t want to discuss, what was, clearly, the appalling behaviour and racist attitude of the man in the wheelchair, but it did get me to thinking.
Have we, as human beings, suddenly become less tolerant, less understanding and less compassionate in recent years?
As a keen observer of the world and world trends, I have certainly found myself becoming concerned, of late, in a rise, in many western democracies of what they term “right wing populism”. What that term means to me, personally, is a rise in selfishness, a rise in looking inward and forgetting about the rest of humanity and a rise in blaming others for the current state of your economy and your society. To me, that is very concerning.
Whenever I hear someone say, “if you don’t like it, get out of OUR country,” or “go back home where you belong,” and I do hear that much more often than I ever used to, my heart breaks. Our country? What an interesting term and what I also find interesting is that many of those that use this rhetoric to lambast immigrants, or worse, refugees are often themselves only second, third or fourth generation immigrants in that country, they so blithely call “our country”. The reality is, in many western democracies, we were NOT the “first people”, we were the immigrants and our forefathers (and mothers) came to Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States, or wherever, seeking refuge, seeking an escape from persecution (religious and political) and more often than not seeking freedom from poverty. Yet, just a few generations down the line we are claiming this to be “OUR” country and denying those seeking the very same relief our ancestors sought, from getting it. How sad! How hypocritical and how lacking in compassion are we today? Is it really only our quest for wealth and power that drives us as human beings, or is there a greater purpose, for humanity, that should be uniting us all?
Mitochondrial DNA has clearly shown, that as a species, our roots can be traced back to a common ancestor, a mother, some 200,000 years ago who lived in central Africa. We are all of the same blood, we are all of the same species. We are human beings and we should be striving to make life better for ALL human beings on this small planet called Earth. We shouldn’t be focusing on making America, Great Britain, France, or any other nation great again. We should be focusing on making a world where all people can live with pride, with dignity, and with respect.
There is a wonderful song I remember from the 1960’s, that was sung by Dionne Warwick, among others. One line, in particular, goes; “what the world needs now, is love... sweet love”. With apologies to the lyricist, I would change that slightly to say; “what the world needs now is compassion... now more than ever”. Where has our compassion, as human beings gone? Are we so wrapped up in ourselves, that we cannot spare a thought for those in more dire circumstances than us?
I’ll leave you today with a few thoughts that run through my mind whenever I see refugees or victims of war atrocities or brutal regimes on television or in the news:
Does, an Iraqi or a Syrian mother feel any less loss and pain in her heart when she holds her dying baby in her arms than a western mother would?
Did that skeletal. Somali child, who lies dying in the dirt have any more choice on where he or she was born, than you did, in your affluent western society?
Did that Syrian refugee leave his home, his family and everything he owned, loved, understood and believed in, simply because it was the easy thing to do?
The truth is, regardless of where we were accidentally born and forced to grow up, we are all made of exactly the same stuff. We are all children of the Universe, placed on this earth, for a very short time and we need each other.
Please, in every way you can, show a little compassion, show a little love and help out your fellow travellers on life’s journey.
I am an expatriate New Zealander, now living in the Philippines with my beautiful wife and two lovely daughters. At age 55, after careers in Journalism and finance, I finally discovered my true passion in life – writing. I am now a full-time author who has written or co-written seven novels, across differing genres.
My latest project is a Historical Romance set to the backdrop of the Philippine revolution of 1896, against the Spanish.
I believe in the power of the written word and the mantra that I live by and finish each of my blog posts on my website with is:
CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY!
EMBRACE THE OPPORTUNITIES LIFE PRESENTS TO YOU AND ALWAYS, ALWAYS FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS!
HAVE A GREAT LIFE AND SPREAD THE LOVE!
CHANGING THE WORLD – ONE READER AT A TIME
British graffiti artist Banksy painted murals designed to send the word a call for humanitarian assistance for refugees.
Banksy chose the late Apple founder Steve Jobs, complete with old Apple computer and a few possessions, as his subject when painting a refugee on a wall in the Calais migrant camp in northern France.
It is sad that there needs to be a shield built around the mural to protect it. However, as it is required. I'm pleased that the Calais city council are moving quickly to do this. The shield will be transparent so the mural, with its message that any one of us could, in changed circumstance, be a refugee, will remain on view.
In a further humanitarian message calling for compassion for refugees, Banksy painted another mural in Calais depicting people arriving by sea and in need of assistance.
This mural shows Banksy's version of The Raft of the Medusa, a famous painting of shipwreck survivors by 19th-Century French painter Theodore Gericault.In this mural, survivors on a raft are seen desperately waving to catch the attention of what looks like a modern yacht on the horizon.
The Banksy website carries a photo of the mural with the subscription:
"We're not all in the same boat."
The artist stated on his website that timber and fixtures from his temporary Dismaland theme park in western England would be sent to build shelters for migrants in Calais.
Thank you for your work in raising awareness of the refugee crisis, Banksy, and for such a positive gesture as sending materials to build crisis centres for refugees. My prayer is they well be welcomed into wider world communities to make now homes. The rural city and small town and community I live near are richer for the refugees who have gone here.